Aside from all the bad music, disappointing award winners, and ridiculous stage antics, the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards may go down as one of the most gremlin-riddled presentations in the modern award show era. An inordinate amount of technical problems plagued the night, including many lead vocal parts with washed-out audio, out-of-tune performances by artists who are usually nails, and other embarrassing mishaps and funny moments. Here are some of the major ones.
Shania Twain Calls Luke Bryan, “Luke Bryant”
The ditsy Shania Twain has been out of the music scene for a while, and it showed last night when she presented the biggest award of the night: Entertainer of the Year to Luke Bryan. But apparently, Shania didn’t know who Luke was, or at least didn’t know how to pronounce his name. I know Shania is from Canada, but I didn’t know adding a non-existent “T” to the end of someone’s last name is part of the Canadian dialect. What a hoser. (at the 1:17 mark)
Brad Paisley’s Missing Vocals / Cut Off by Bumper Music
Throughout the night, viewers of the 2013 ACM’s had their ears strained by vocals that were either muddy, too far down in the mix, or out-of-tune. Brad Paisley has the biggest legitimate beef with whoever was twisting and tweaking behind the board when he came up to perform his song “Beat This Summer” with John Mayer. At the beginning, his vocals are barely there, and then fast forward to the end when the performance is interrupted when the bumper music (a pre-recorded track that plays right before cutting to commercial) accidentally misfires.
Miranda Lambert Miffed at Eric Church
Was it me, or was Miranda Lambert choking back extreme disappointment when the powers that be at the ACM Awards decided to have her announce Eric Church as the Album of the Year winner? Though Eric Church and Miranda officially made up, bad blood started between the two and Miranda’s husband Blake Shelton when Eric Church told The Rolling Stone:
“It’s become American Idol gone mad. Honestly, if Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green fucking turn around in a red chair, you get a deal? That’s crazy. I don’t know what would make an artist do that. You’re not an artist. If I was concerned about my legacy, there’s no fucking way I would ever sit there [and be a reality-show judge]. Once your career becomes something other than the music, then that’s what it is. I’ll never make that mistake. I don’t care if I fucking starve.”
Miranda also has a reality show past, and also took offense. Eric Church eventually clarified his statements and apologized to Miranda, but never apologized to Blake. It seems pretty evident all that history was running through Miranda’s mind when she announced the award with a curt delivery and phony smile. (at the 1:40 mark)
The Band Perry Bad Performance / Pre-Recorded Track?
By far the worst performance of the night, and one of the worst I’ve seen in award show history was perpetrated by The Band Perry. Focused on exuding a ridiculous amount of energy in their overly-gesticulated choreography instead of the integrity of the performance, lead singer Kimberly Perry forgot to breathe. She was out of breath before the song even began in earnest and turned in an awful, breathy, uninspired and out-of-tune performance that would even make Taylor Swift wince.
But even more interesting is if you watch the performance more in depth, it’s clear they’re playing to a pre-recorded musical track. At the very beginning, you see the drummer strike a cymbal before the music starts, but you don’t hear it. One Perry brother is holding a bass, but is too busy fist pumping at the beginning to play it, even though you hear bass guitar. Maybe there’s a bass hidden on the backline (but they all look like regular electric guitars), but the other Perry brother is holding a mandolin and numerous times you see him playing it, but hear nothing, while other times hear mandolin, when he’s clearly not playing. Playing to a pre-recorded track is one thing. Acting like you’re playing by carrying the instruments is clearly trying to pull one over on the viewer. The Band Perry’s performance was the biggest embarrassment on a night of many.